Instagram vs Snapchat: Which Platform is Better for Your Brand?


Instagram and Snapchat offer creative ways for brands to attract new customers, engage their audience, grow their email list, increase conversions, and more. While Snapchat may have a younger audience, Instagram offers analytics and hashtags that make it easier for a brand to get noticed. With so much conflicting advice on Instagram vs Snapchat, we decided to ask the digital marketers who are successfully leveraging these social platforms to weigh in.

So, we asked 10 social media experts, “are you sharing stories more often on Instagram or Snapchat, and why?”

Instagram still has a larger daily user base

Malcolm J. Gray, Live Nation, @MalcolmJGray
While Snapchat still has a more robust platform including slow-mo, fast forward, geofilters, face swaps, etc., Instagram still has a larger daily user base. As we still figure out how to better integrate Snapchat into our marketing mix, Instagram Stories make it easier for us to reach new fans on a platform they’re already on with content such as artist takeovers, BTS access, and more. As Instagram adds more features to stories, it could become a bigger video storytelling competitor to Snapchat.

Utilize your audience

Stefanie Parks, DermWarehouse, @DermWarehouse
Personally, I like Instagram much better. I’ve been using it for years and have built up a large following. I like that with Instagram Stories, I can focus on the following that I’ve already grown and nurtured, whereas, on Snapchat, I needed to start from scratch. For my business purposes, I wanted a platform where I felt comfortable posting more often, in a more casual way. It wasn't the filters or anything like that that I was using Snapchat for. So for me, I've been very happy with Instagram Stories and will continue to focus my efforts there, rather than on Snapchat.

Snapchat lacks robust analytics

Christine Rochelle, lotus823, @CLRochelle
While Snapchat was the platform to innovate live, in the moment stories, I still find that Instagram Stories are much better suited for most of the brands I work with. Most of the brands already have an established Instagram following so the Stories became an easy arm of our strategy during events or product announcements. It's been difficult to launch a brand on Snapchat due to the lack of analytics that would help better refine who our audience is and the best content strategy.

Hashtags make it easy to target an audience on Instagram vs Snapchat

Cornell Thomas, Cornell Thomas Media, @CornellThomas
On Instagram, it’s easier to see a story. Snapchat is still considered more of a teenager’s tool to communicate. Instagram, however, is used by businesses and people that can make decisions in terms of hiring me to speak. I need decision makers to see my brand, add in the hashtag system and I can directly target who I'm looking for on Instagram.

Both platforms offer tremendous ROI

Rick Sliter, BioClarity
Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat offer tremendous ROI for our younger target demographic. We utilize both social media platforms in an integrated approach. You now can load Snaps directly into Instagram Stories so we can see what content both audiences are responding to and on which platform. Use Instagram to draw attention to your Snapchat account and create more engaged fans whether they prefer Snapchat or Instagram.

Match your Instagram feed to your stories

Mandie Mutchie, Healthy Lifestyle Influencer, @Mandelicious
How similar are your Instagram Stories to your posts? Many people unfollowed a lot of Instagram accounts when the stories first launched because they wanted to see the stories that matched the pictures, and that did not often happen. For example, if I am following an account specifically for its recipes, I don't care to see how the person who runs it spends his/her vacation. Snapchat is more appropriate for sharing personal life. However, if the Instagram Story matched the blog, (as in with tutorials on making the recipe, for example) then it works great!

Instagram is easy to use

Alex Bar, Third Temple Digital
Today’s advancement in Instagram and introduction of Insta-stories gives it an edge above Snapchat. What Instagram has simply done is give us features that Snapchat offered with some bonus additions. Despite the fact that Snapchat is known for offering the most flattering selfies and celebrity squads – which have little to do with my business. Instagram is easy to use, has less annoying ads, non-millennial user-friendly, and also includes desirable tech factors. Today, Instagram wins but who knows what surprise card Snapchat might unleash in the near future.

Instagram Stories are editable to an extent

Maree Jones, Luckie & Company, @MareeJones
Right now, the better fit for many of our brands is still Instagram, mostly because our audiences are already there. We’ve been using it for a few years now, so there’s no risk of churn in trying to migrate audiences over to other platforms. The Instagram Stories feature is also editable to an extent, making this much more appealing to risk-averse clients.

Playful brands can flourish on Snapchat

Max Robinson, Fish Tank Bank
We are still using Snapchat for our stories because that is where we’ve built our audience. I think our brand is better suited to Snapchat, in the sense that we're quite cheeky and playful with our content, whereas I would say that Instagram is slightly more effective for brands that take themselves a bit more seriously than we do.

Focus on the platform as it pertains to your business

Ed Brancheau, Goozleology Inc, @Goozleology
As it pertains to my business, I am not sharing more on Instagram and Snapchat because my clients, business owners, don't use them to find out how to boost their business. However, I do encourage and help many of my clients to share more if their clients and customers participate in those services and if they are in the proper mindset. For example, both personal trainers and auto mechanics have customers on both services. However, only the personal trainer would likely benefit from sharing more because their clients are likely looking to Instagram/Snapchat for training tips. On the other hand, the auto mechanic's customers aren't on Instagram/Snapchat to fix their car. So, it would be a waste of time.